Anantnag: The street lights installed on prestigious Khanabal Pahalgam Road, popularly known as KP Road in south Kashmir have been rendered dysfunctional on a vast stretch casting shadow on massive investments done on the road in the past.
The15-kilometer road, one of the busiest in south Kashmir region, was constructed with a whopping investment of Rs 110 crore during the first stint of former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in 2004. The project was completed in 2007. The installation of street lights along the road stretch from Khanbal to Seer Hamdan was part of the project on which over 4 crore rupees were spent.
Who owns the lamp post?
Even as the widening and beautification of the road was done, the street lights continue to remain defunct causing much inconvenience to the people during dark hours.
While few of these lights function between Khanabal to Iqbalabad locality, the lights on almost eight kilometer stretch from Alsarwat School to Seer Hamdan are completely dysfunctional. “The defunct street lights along this important road cause severe inconvenience to the people during evening and night hours. The authorities have never bothered to fix or replace them,” residents told Kashmir Reader.
“I have not seen these lights working except for two months. These lights have served no purpose. This is how the public money is being wasted here,” Naseer Ahmad told Kashmir Reader.
Another resident Imtiyaz Ahmad said that they have been approaching both the R and B and Municipal committee officials for several years with the plea to fix these defunct lights but the officials shirk the responsibility saying it was not in their domain.
“When we approach R&B authorities they tell us they have handed over the lights to Municipal Committees of Anantnag and Mattan for maintenance. The municipality officials say that they have not been formally handed over the lights and it was not their job to repair the defunct lights,” Ahmad told Kashmir Reader.
Superintendent engineer, R& B division Khanabal, Sami Arif admitted that the lights along the road were non-functional but added that the department has a separate wing to look after ten lighting systems along the roads.
“We have received complaints about the defunct street lights from the locals. We have a separate electric wing which looks after it. Soon after receiving complaints from some people I have written to them and sought explanation as to why the lights along this important road are not working,” Sami said.
He said that the response from the officials of the electric wing was awaited.